A little while back the insanely talented, terribly funny, not so great at baking, and hard to track down at conferences, Hugzilla shared this story of baking gone wrong – The Fine Art of Murdering Simple Recipes.
I imagine most people read that post and basked in the comparative glory of their domestic diety.
I read it and thought “thank goodness it’s not just me”.
My culinary skills are likewise limited. But I do try.
In the spirit of making other baking impaired people feel better, and amusing those who manage, I thought I’d share my latest misadventure.
I am on the school tuck shop baking roster. Which, given my lack of baking skills, is most likely a poor idea. However I was assured that simple cupcakes and chocolate slice were well within my abilities.
My cupcakes aren’t too bad. Particularly because my oven has been unable to reach about 170 degrees for about half a year. And I haven’t been arsed to get it fixed. But it is a very good slow oven for cupcakes (I only know this because my neighbour told me). It’s all good until we get to the icing. Even though I cheat and buy frosting, I still end up with a mess. I hand them over to the tuck shop convenor and tell her that the kids decorated them.
The other day I decided to make weetbix chocolate slice. My dear friend makes this all the time and it’s a hit. She’s also a great baker. I daresay she has the recipe in a folder, housed on a tidy shelf in her pantry. I, on the other hand, consulted my phone and used the first recipe to appear. Rookie mistake number one.
The slice is a tuck shop favorite and really quite easy. Well, easy if you aren’t me. Baby E (now 2, wearing size 4s and quickly eclipsing any reference to “baby”) was insistent on helping. Actually, he was insistent on doing the whole thing by himself.
I do. I do. I DO.
This meant the majority of my time was spent wrestling the flour, cooking spoon and bowl from baby E. I quickly glanced at the ingredient list and decided to double the quantities. No one wants to run short at tuck-shop. Seemed like it was a cup of most things – cup of sugar, cup of flour etc. So, I dumped two cups of everything into the bowl. Including two cups of cocoa.
As I was mixing (or rather, baby E was mixing), I started to wonder if something was amiss. The dry to wet ratio didn’t seem quite right. It seemed awfully dark. It smelt very strong. I checked the recipe. It called for one tablespoon of cocoa. Meaning I had put in two cups rather than two tablespoons.
Oh well, I thought, chocolate is yummy. It will just be super – chocolatey. And isn’t cocoa a super food? I have just made it really healthy.
I asked Facebook whether it would matter. The answers came back – yes, yes, that would matter a great deal. I replied oh well, this one will be ours and I’ll make another for tuck shop. My dear friend replied Ummm, you are going to have trouble getting anyone to eat it.
Undeterred, I put the over-cocoaed slice into the oven, hoped for the best and whipped another batch (paying much closer attention to the recipe).
The original came out of the oven. My friend was right. It tasted bloody awful.
Are you part of the “can’t bake” club? Ever put two cups of cocoa in anything?